Sunday, August 28, 2011

{ Lessons in HINDI: Part 1 }

My first exposure to Hindi was at my UofU Orientation (2009) when I went to a mock class with a teacher that taught Hindi and Urdu. Since that time, I wanted to learn the language. But I never would have imagined that two years later, I would be in India - the perfect classroom to learn this beautiful language.

When I listen to the people speak, it all still sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Literally, it sounds like a bunch of babies saying "goo goo" & "ga ga" to me! Or rather, it sounds like this - "asfklajsdlfkjas;fkj" Something like that. But, it flows so perfectly. When the Indians speak, there are very few pauses and it sounds like a river flowing out of their mouth. I love it. However, I have found that if I listen really close, I can pick up a little bit of what others are saying because a lot of the people here speak Hinglish (Hindi + English = Hinglish). These are the co-official languages of India - English because of the British influence and power in India until 1947. Although Hindi is still the most common language in India (but I've since come to find out there are over 108 languages in India - each very heavily spoken in the varying states across the country!). 

I love the Indian Culture. It is so different from the Western world that we call home. The language itself is so respectful!

Here, we call our rickshaw drivers and any older man "bhaiya," which means "brother." We are all brothers and sisters by nature.

My favorite - When we say other's names, we add "-ji" at the end. This is prounounced as "jee" or like the letter "g". For example, we say "Sarah-ji" or "Liz-ji" or "Meli-ji" or "Eva-ji" or "Anita-ji". We add it to the name of anyone that merits respect or to strangers. This is why the different words for grandparents are dadaji, dadiji, naniji, and nanaji. Makes sense, right?

I may now be referred to as "Liz-ji" or "Lizzie-ji" 
Please and thank you.

So, here is a small list of a few words I have learned in my short time here: 

  • namaste - hello
  • namaskar - goodbye
{they don't generally use either of these greetings because they just say "allo!" now}
  • tikh hai (pronounced tea-kay} - Okay! {My favorite - this is what I learned first. You can use it to answer to just about anything}
  • bhaiya - brother
  • didi - sister
  • acha - good
  • pani - water
  • daal - lentils
  • paneer - cheese
  • aloo - potato
  • hanji or ji - yes
  • nehi - no
  • dhanyavaad - thank you
  • paghal - crazy
  • subh ratri - goodnight
  • dal - lentils
  • chalo! - let's go!

Numbers (my first words in Hindi):
  • ek - one
  • do - two
  • teen - three
  • charr - four
  • panch - five
  • cheyha - six
  • haat - seven
  • aat - eight
  • nau - nine
  • dus - ten
  • bhara - twelve (we live in sector 12 so we use this often to direct the rickshaw drivers)

No comments:

Post a Comment